daraknor (daraknor) wrote in newatlantis,

The world is a corrupt model

When modeling something we make little diagrams and graphs to explain things. Sometimes these are explanations to ourselves, a means of interpreting data. Usually it is a means of communicating an idea to others, people who don't understand the underlying data or concepts. We make cute little graphs in power points because they don't understand. People like policy makers: politicians, upper management, administrators.

Heinlein said, "If you can't say it in math, it is just opinion." Our opinion has been corrupting our math. The graphs we make are employed in selling our prejudice to other people. These people make decisions based on our opinion thinking it is real and somehow corresponds to the world. This in turn gets modeled.

" Unfortunately, all too often testing is inadequate, documentation is
incomplete, important critics and stakeholders are excluded, and assessment
is never undertaken. Worse, model testing is often designed to ``prove'' the
model is ``right'' and model tests are presented as evidence designed to promote
client acceptance. We are continually pressured by our clients, our students,
our colleagues, and our own egos to slip out of the role of questioner and
learner into the role of expert and teacher. Doing so often fails, by generating
defensiveness and resistance. The phrase ``getting client buy-in'' should be
banned from our lexicon. Taking the perspective that we are selling a ``product''
to the client is antithetical to a genuine inquiry process. Such an approach
is designed to deflect criticism and promote the status and authority of the
modeler. Instead, it makes learning difficult and ultimately erodes the impact
of the model and the credibility of the modeler -- and of all modelers."
"All models are wrong: reflections on becoming a systems scientist" by John D. Sterman

Our whole world is filled with this models that are just plain wrong. "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" is a book that tries to "prove" that IQ and prosperity of a civilization are related. The "IQ" of Africa is 70 according to these 'researchers'. All of Africa! I don't know if it is the opinion of the reviewer or a comment from the overpriced book, but they claim " An IQ of 90 is needed to build a science-technology based society. Only 20% of the world people have IQ over 90." Well then! that proves Egypt never had technology and never will! Ignore they pyramids, they don't fit in your graph. Ignore the Library of Alexandria, the fall of Rome with the aid of Cleopatra, it is merely a matter of opinion that can be disregarded.

Now what is the "Wealth of Nations" anyway? Gross National Product measured in United States Dollars. GNP in USD. Well that just confirms it, because ancient Egypt never had zero USD.

IQ and GNP, income per capita, and most of what our civilization is based on, are all flawed metrics. The world then manifests this corrupt model, which is modeled, and then manifested. Our civilization is based on flawed metrics, to the point that they are regarded as a higher truth than reality, because we disregard reality that doesn't agree with our metrics.

Back to working on a new metric... This "New Atlantis" project is bigger than I originally imagined. I thought that if we got enough of the productive people together other pieces would come together. That may be true, but the impact of such a group is relatively small compared to a new metric and productive people working under that metric.

At this point I am basing the metric around "time overhead" - the amount of time we spend trying to sustain ourselves. Trying to measure the utility of a can of corn is easy, but calculating the amount of time it took to produce all of the things that got that can of corn to your plate is hard. Another thing to consider for 'employing' an unskilled workforce: the cost of that corn may be increased in order to give more people jobs. So they don't become lawyers or something.
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